At the Dolby booth, this prototype of the first-ever audio/video receiver with the new Dolby Volume technology was on display outside their mini-theater. Onkyo, with a tradition of early integration of new audio technologies, won the honor of debuting the new process which organically rejiggers the loud and quiet parts of a soundtrack within a scene, such as hard-to-hear dialogue amid background sound effects, as well as equalizing the levels between two different programs when we change channels or go to commercial, with very enjoyable results in all of the demo I've heard in the past year. Clearly this is something that consumers have been demanding, one of those seemingly simple problems that's a bear to solve (otherwise everyone would do it!)
Now, I like to watch a little TV every now and then, but this is just too much. I may have lost count, but I think there were at least a dozen TV screens in this car. To make matters worse, there were at least two sources playing.
Vizio also showed off two 1080p plasmas: the 50-inch VP504F, priced at $1699, and the 60-inch VP605F, priced at $2899. The 60-incher, shown here, will sport a nice titanium-finished bezel. The press release gives a June release date, but our gracious tour guide said July or August for the 60-inch model. We'll see which one is right.
"Simulated surround" from two headphone channels. That's how the DTS people described Surround Sensation. It uses multichannel sources, like the better players in this genre. The audience appeared rapt. Look for product this year including an ArcSoft PC application.
We don't normally cover home video production and editing, but with a new generation of affordable HD camcorders comes new editing tools. Sony's VAIO RM Hi-def Video Editing System (VGC-RM1) has a Blu-ray Disc read/write HD drive, 1 TB of hard disc storage, and Adobe Premier Pro editing software.
Alex Thatcher, Senior Product Marketing Manager for HP's Digital TV Solutions Group, shows off the new third-generation MediaSmart 1080p LCD HDTV. The new model has a new look and a noteworthy new feature: a built-in Extender for Windows Media Center, which will make it even easier for users to stream HD video, pictures, and music (wired or wirelessly over 802.11n) from a Vista Premium or Vista Ultimate PC to their HP TV.
This summer, look for Belkin’s FlyWire system to wirelessly connect HDMI source components to your HDMI-enabled TV. (Other, lesser connectivity standards are supported as well.) The two-box bundle is prematched, so installation and configuration of the sending and receiving units shouldn’t cause unbearable grief, and the results that they showed at their booth were flawless, even amid God-knows-how-many competing wireless demos in the South Hall. No firm price has been set yet, but expect to fork over between five and six hundred clams.
Fox and MGM joined the Blu-ray studios in ramping up its support for the HD format in a major way. It announced that its major release titles will be day and date with DVD from now on, including movies currently in theaters like Night at the Museum and Eragon when they're released to home video later this year.
As much sculptures as speakers, the new Strada Series from Gallo Acoustics comes in a cast aluminum enclosure with innards similar to those in the Reference 3.1 towers. Price $899/each. The TR-3 sub, which will replace the TR-2, features a long-throw aluminum cone woofer and will sell for $895. Both available in the second quarter of 2008.